Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation Announces $214,500 in Grants to Improve Youth Fitness

/PRNewswire/ -- The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation (AFYF) recently awarded 11 nonprofit organizations a total of $214,500 in grants to improve youth fitness and reduce childhood obesity across Georgia.

The grants include $50,000 to a national nonprofit, Good Sports, which is working with AFYF to supply recreation and sports equipment to increase the number of low-income children participating in regular physical activity. Good Sports will deliver two dollars of equipment to Georgia organizations for every one dollar of AFYF grant funds.

More information regarding terms and eligibility for this equipment funding program is available on www.AFYF.org. The first round of equipment donations are expected to be delivered in August.

"We are thrilled to team up with the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation to help kids in Georgia become more physically active," said Melissa Harper, CEO of Good Sports. "By providing equipment that removes barriers to participation, we can help move more children from sedentary to active lifestyles."

Preference will be given to projects serving low-income children in Atlanta and Gainesville, where AFYF supports Falcons Fitness Zone programming to reduce childhood obesity, as well as to projects in 12 identified high-need counties: Baker, Clay, Crisp, Early, Emanuel, Jenkins, Johnson, Stewart, Taliaferro, Terrell, Tift and Turner.

The 11 new grants deepen AFYF's investment across Georgia and in the five neighborhoods (four in Atlanta, one in Gainesville) designated as Falcons Fitness Zones, where AFYF partners are serving 10,000 kids at 50 sites during the school year - burning off more than 44,000 pounds of body fat, or more than 515,000 cheeseburgers. Since launching the Fitness Zones initiative in 2005, AFYF has invested more than $8 million in nonprofit organizations serving children in these neighborhoods.

The latest AFYF grants include awards to:

Georgia Action for Healthy Kids

$2,500 to provide scholarships for at least 25 teachers from Title I schools to attend a conference in Athens, Ga.: "School Wellness: The Cornerstone of Academic Achievement."

Piedmont Park Conservancy

$2,500 to provide at least 20 one-week scholarships to the Park's summer camp program, EnviroVentures, emphasizing outdoor activities. The scholarships are to be awarded to students from Title I schools.

Girls Inc.

$10,000 for the organization's Sporting Chance program, which features Double Dutch jump roping for 300 girls served through the Marietta Center and Ivy Preparatory Academy.

Park Pride

$12,000 to provide neighborhood parks groups in Atlanta with equipment and resources to engage children in outdoor activities, including bird watching and astronomy, and to disseminate new research on the role parks can play in improving health.

Kids & Pros

$12,500 to provide scholarships for up to 200 kids - drawn from current Fitness Zone neighborhoods - to attend a Kids & Pros week-long camp held at Clark Atlanta University in summer 2010.

Moving in the Spirit

$15,000 for the Stepping Stones dance program, which serves more than 140 youth across Falcons Fitness Zone neighborhoods.

KIPP Metro Atlanta

$15,000 for a youth sports league engaging more than 180 KIPP students, along with students at other charter and independent schools. Activities include flag football, basketball, cheerleading and soccer.

After-School All-Stars

$20,000 to acquire two HOPSports Trainings Systems for after-school and summer programs at two Atlanta Public Schools middle school sites.

Metro Atlanta YMCA

$25,000 to launch the Westside Health & Wellness Collaborative, providing health services for Fitness Zone children, including health screenings and follow-up care for 150 students from Bethune and Herndon elementary schools.

Good Sports

$50,000 over two years to operate a sports-equipment acquisition program, providing Georgia nonprofits with equipment that removes barriers to participation in physical activity. Good Sports will deliver two dollars of equipment to Georgia nonprofits for every one dollar in AFYF grant funds.

Atlanta Track Club

$50,000 over two years for the Kilometer Kids running program, which serves more than 2,000 youth across Fitness Zone neighborhoods.

About The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation:

Investing across Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation helps nonprofit organizations reduce childhood obesity and improve youth fitness. The foundation was established in 1985 to serve as the philanthropic arm of the Atlanta Falcons. Since Arthur Blank acquired the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, the foundation has grown to be the largest owner-funded foundation in the National Football League, providing more than $16 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state of Georgia.

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